OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #484 May 27, 2016

Highlights include: Ontario's First Nations Health Plan; Unregulated Private Addiction Services in Ontario; Forcillo Appeal Wraps Up; Disability Tax Credits and the Mentally Ill; OHRC Police Strategy Recommendations; Psychosis Videos; Jobs; News; and More.

Editor’s Note:  Please be aware that many online newspaper sites are now behind pay-walls.  Not all articles with hyperlinks may be accessible due to circumstances beyond our control; we apologize for the inconvenience. To minimize the impact of pay-walls, consider regularly clearing your browser cookies.


1.  OPDI Internship Webinar Wednesday June 1 at 12 pm

Our next OPDI Internship Webinar is on June 1 from 12 noon to 1 pm. 
from 11 am – 12 noon.  If you would like to attend the Internship webinar please email opdi@opdi.org with your name, the date and city of your training and the information to login will be sent to you.

If you have already done an internship webinar please disregard this notice or you may attend it again if you feel you need a refresher.  Notices for future Internship webinars will be posted in NewsToGo at least quarterly and possibly more often if needed. To be notified, please subscribe by going to www.opdi.org and clicking on Newsletter Sign Up (it’s free) then just watch for the notices. 

2.  Ontario Releases First Nations Health Plan

The province plans to spend $222 million over the next three years on indigenous healthcare.  A list of details are included in the press release:

Ontario Launches $222 Million First Nations Health Action Plan

Stakeholder reaction is featured in this news story:

First Nations Leaders Optimistic but Cautious about Ontario's Indigenous Health Plan

3. Private Addiction Services Unregulated and Unaccredited in Ontario

In following up on a fraud investigation of an owner of several addiction centres, the Toronto Star reports on this surprising laxity in reporting standards; a complementary editorial recommends change:

Ex-patients Talk About Their Time at Addiction Canada Centres

Ontario Must Regulate Rehab Centres to Protect the Public
4.  Jeremy Carby Inquest Recommendations

The shooting of a person of colour with mental health issues by Peel Police was reviewed by a jury:

Jeremy Carby Inquest Jury Makes 14 Recommendations Following 2014 Shooting Death
5.  Forcillo Sentencing Appeal Concludes

Here's a summary of what transpired:

Forcillo Sentencing Hearing Wraps Up, With Opposing Narratives for Judge to Ponder

6.  Disability Tax Credits, the CRA, and the Mentally Ill

This write-up suggests that the CRA is not following the spirit of the regulations and is making it difficult for people with mental health issues to be qualified:

Mentally Ill Deserve Fair Access to Disability Tax Credits

7.  Ottawa Poll Shows Majority Opposed to Mayor and Police Chief's Stances on Safe Injection Site

A majority was found in favour of the safe injection site in the poll; the mayor favours more drug treatment and the chief of police wants a crime prevention plan in effect in the area before the site can be set up:

Most Back Safe Injection Site, Poll Finds

8.  Ontario Human Rights Commission Makes Recommendations on Policing Strategy

The body has a lot to say about vulnerable populations, people of colour, indigenous peoples, and police training.  We have a press release and a media story:

Human Rights Must be at the Heart of the Province's Strategy for a Safer Ontario

Ontario Human Rights Commission Calls for Big Changes in Policing

9.  The Practice of "Off-Label" Use of Antidepressants

This Quebec study found that only 55% of patients prescribed antidepressants were actually being treated for depression.  The remaining 45% were being given meds for other uses:  anxiety, pain, insomnia.  It could be said that of the 45%, a good share was being marked for uses not approved specifically by the FDA (the regulatory body that rules how drugs are to be used).

45% of Depression Meds in Canada Prescribed for Conditions Like Insomnia, Anxiety, Pain

10.  Bringing Mental Health into the Neighbourhood

The writer describes the urban scene around CAMH's modern campus where the mentally ill have fit into the landscape:

Toronto's West Queen West Shows Acceptance for the Mentally Ill

11.  Vaping and Coping with Schizophrenia

It may not be readily apparent, but since nicotine use and the incidence of schizophrenia are linked, vaping had been a way for people to get their fix and cope -- not anymore:

The New Vaping Rules are Making My Life with Schizophrenia Harder

12.  "Tamper-Proof" Oxycodone Causing Heart Infections

The reformulated Hydromorph Contin is being misused by addicts who are finding a way to inject it; however, it can cause strokes and other heart problems:

New Type of Oxycodone Abuse Causing Spike in Heart Infections


13.  CAMH's Portico Network Presents 5 Videos about Psychosis

Dr. Kwame McKenzie explains the research into the genetic and environmental factors that result in psychosis in these 5 videos.  They use tailored closed-captioning:

The Causes of Psychosis

14.  Mental Health and Physical Activity Centre at University of Toronto

It has a duo purpose:  research centre and a place to offer students a way to exercise.

"Sweat is the Best Antidepressant":  U of T Introduces Gym to Reduce Mental Health Issues

15.  European Repository of Mental Health Policies and Good Practices

Please refer to the Mental Health Compass website for a searchable set of resources.

16.  Drug Implant Promises to Treat Opioid Addiction

An implant designed to last up to six months and which will treat people who use opioids has been given FDA approval:

FDA Approves New Way to Treat Opioid Addiction -- Under the Skin


17.  Nature is Good for Mental Health

There is a name for this:  ecotherapy.

How Nature Benefits Your Mental Health

18.   Learning to "Man Up" is Toxic

The author weaves various sources to come up with the persuasive case that the "stronger" sex works hard in suppressing feelings, with poor health consequences:

Toxic Masculinity is Killing Men:  the Roots of Male Trauma

19.    Making the Best of a Long Holiday Weekend

With the upcoming Canada Day being a 3-day affair (July 1 being a Friday), this is good advice:

To Make the Best of Your Three-Day Weekend, Be a Little Lazy Before and After


20.  Save the Date:  OPDI's AGM and Conference September 22 - 23, 2016 in Toronto

We are inviting you to submit a workshop abstract for the Conference scheduled for September 22 & 23, 2016.  We welcome workshops in the following areas of interest, but submissions are not limited only to these areas:
Member services, for example:
•             Recruiting and engaging a diverse membership
•             Empowerment and authenticity: maintaining a member driven and person-   centred program
•             Board training and development for effective organizations
Program management issues, such as:
•             Staff training, supervision and support
•             Accountability: getting the work done and telling the real story
•             Staffing Challenges
•             Challenges of Rapid Growth
Broader systemic, political or philosophical issues such as:
•             Accessibility of peer support groups and organizations
•             Integrations, mergers, absorptions. How to work IN the system but not be OF the system
•             Advocacy: loss of voice and rights
Sharing of new practices, successful program ideas, etc.
We are looking for the most innovative workshop topics that you believe will be beneficial to Consumer/Survivor Initiatives and Peer Support Organizations, and will be positively received by those attending this conference.
Workshop Formats: Each workshop will be 90 minutes and should include a presentation, interaction and discussion. Proposals should address the following:
• Session Title
• Objectives/Intended Outcomes for Participants
• Presenter(s) Biography
• Contact Details
• Audio-visual needs
• Workshop description (this will be used in advertising materials, 100 words or less)
Please submit your abstract by e-mail to opdi@opdi.org or fax to 416- 484-9669.
All abstracts must be received by May 27th, 2016.
For further information please contact Allyson Theodorou at 416-484-8785 ext. 2 or by e-mail at allyson@opdi.org

21.  Sharing Your Voice Workshop for Persons and Families with Lived Experience of Opioids

Check out this poster on attending a public speaking workshop with Sean Leblanc (Drug Users Advocacy League, Ottawa) and Betty Lou Kristy (family advocate, Halton).  Breakfast, lunch, honorarium and travel costs are covered for participants.

22.  Job Postings

The HSJCC ( Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee Secretariat) is hiring a Program Manager for a 12-month contract.
23.  Health Quality Ontario 5th Annual Conference (repeat)

Health Quality Transformation 2016 Presents Quality Matters on October 20th in Toronto. To learn more about submitting an abstract (June 22nd deadline), please see this.

24.  In Memoriam:  Paul Goering

Dr, Goering was a distinguished Nursing professor and researcher based at CAMH until her retirement a couple of years ago.  Her work in community mental health was very supportive of the consumer/survivor movement and she was the lead investigator in the "At Home/Chez Toi" project that tested out the "Housing First" approach across Canada with the Mental Health Commission of Canada.  She will be sincerely missed.

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NewsToGo is OPDI’s e-mail update providing timely and meaningful information to its stakeholders. The ideas expressed are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of OPDI. We welcome your submissions; please direct them to opdi@opdi.org. Preference will be given to material which directly relates to OPDI member affiliates and issues of concern to consumer/survivors throughout Ontario. We reserve the right to edit the length and style of all materials submitted. The current and back issues of NewsToGo can be found at http://www.opdi.org.